Restoring the Giggs legacy

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by SER19, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. Sep 13, 2017

    Decomposing In Paris Full Member

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    Ok, I'll bite. You would take David Ginola's performances in his two seasons for Newcastle over any two seasons Giggs played for us?
  2. Sep 13, 2017

    Decomposing In Paris Full Member

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    But apparently not wanted enough to pay £3m.
  3. Sep 13, 2017

    SER19 Full Member

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    You're stubborn I'll give you that :lol:
  4. Sep 13, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    Yes. I may be wrong, but I really can't remember when Giggs actually had 2 full seasons firing on all cylinders and a critical component of the team. Maybe you can share which are the seasons you think that is?
  5. Sep 13, 2017

    SER19 Full Member

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    92/93, 93/94, 95/96, 97/98 for sure.

    06/07 was fantastic, and he had no seasons where he was actually poor. Constantly important, especially so in years mentioned
  6. Sep 13, 2017

    Decomposing In Paris Full Member

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    ... then there's his reinvention in 08/09.

    Why the specific period of a season anyway?

    Giggs could do things in a moment that Ginola couldn't imagine (see the obvious reference to FA Cup replay winner vs Arsenal in '99) and had a far superior career for more than 2 decades.
    So he had quite a lot of injury problems around what most of us would have expected to be his peak. Does that really make him less of a player than someone who only really showed up for about 5 years, and was never world class?

    So Ginola "almost propelling Newcastle to a title" is greater than Giggs driving us to the Champions League final with his invention in a new central midfield role. Yes, Newcastle ultimately fell short because they were up against a better team, but that's all that happened to United that season.
  7. Sep 13, 2017

    Rusholme Ruffian Full Member

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    So in summary, Ginola had a couple of decent seasons, but Giggs was by far the better player overall. Can you stop now?
  8. Sep 13, 2017

    youngrell New Member

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    During his long tenure, SAF built several top class, league winning teams/squads, most memorably in 1994, 1999, from 2006-09 and to a lesser extent after that.

    Only one man was present in all of those teams, and that speaks volumes for me. Giggs outlasted everyone and remained an important player throughout his career with us. He provided so many great moments and was key to the many trophies we won during that very successful period.
  9. Sep 13, 2017

    Bobski New Member

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    Ginola scored 7 goals in 75 games for Newcastle, and was a liability defensively. That is the peak of his career?

    Stats are a flawed way to judge a player but the impression I was always got from Ginola was that he was a wonderful exhibition player but never truly a winning one. Great talent, his peak was probably at PSG, never saw him in that period, so can only judge from his time in England.

    Comparing Ginola to Giggs is like comparing Di Canio to the likes of Bergkamp and Cantona. Another great talent who only really flourished fully in lesser sides. Had his chances at big clubs.
  10. Sep 13, 2017

    Jim Beam Full Member

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    In his second season for Newcastle, Ginola scored 2 goals, had 0 assists and at the end was sold to Spurs without profit. It is a little bit crazy when you take that over what Giggs was producing as a player.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  11. Sep 13, 2017

    sammsky1 Full Member

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    Had he not committed those acts in his personal life, he'd have been revered as much as Sir Bobby Charlton.

    But he did and it's difficult for some to seperate the man from the footballer.
  12. Sep 13, 2017

    Bwuk Full Member

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    I would have a young Ryan Giggs over any player in our current squad.
  13. Sep 13, 2017

    Rusholme Ruffian Full Member

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    Even Bobby's personal life isn't whiter than white (but just to clear I don't mean adultery!). Unless somebody commits a criminal offence then i kind of think it's dodgy ground to judge their footballing contribution differently because of something that they've done in their private life.
  14. Sep 13, 2017

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Next thread : which is better? Zanetti or giggs.
  15. Sep 14, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    I could possibly be convinced on 92/93-93/94 period. 2 years running PFA young player of the year, strong output and top 10 ballon d'or. However, don't forget also that EPL at this time was poor by European standards, and Man Utd was regularly losing to the likes of Galatasaray or Gothenburg. So to say he was a world class player may also be a stretch. Anyhow, it also says a lot that his 2 strongest season period was when he was still a teenager.

    95/96 was a very strong year for him no doubt. But he was kinda over-shadowed by the emergence of the kids. By this time, remember he was considered a "senior" in the team after the sale of kanchelskis etc, so stepping up to the plate was really expected of him.

    97/98 I can't agree. Trophyless season, not a particular dominating presence in a relatively poor team by trophy standards.
  16. Sep 14, 2017

    OL29 Full Member

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    I'ma bit too young to remember but wasn't a large part of the reason we went tropyhless that season because of losing Giggs at key periods?
  17. Sep 14, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    Think you are probably right, confused a little between his first and 2nd season at Newcastle. But anyway, I think we should stop with the Ginola comparison as this isn't a Giggs vs Ginola thread.

    At the end of the day, Giggs fans (myself included growing up) does not need to worry about a "restoring" of his legacy. His medal count and being an integral part of such a successful team, as well as un-rivaled longevity will place him at the very high end of the Man Utd legends table.

    My unbiased view however remains, that he is more likely over-rated as a player. For his stature as a supposedly world-class player, his peak must be one of the lowest.

    His highest Ballon D'or rating is 10th, and only other time was 14th.

    He never won a PFA player of the year award till his retirement age, and only once was named Man Utd player of the year.

    The argument that he is some kind of an unsung hero seems unlikely to me, when you consider the position he plays in, and what he is known for (dribbling, attacking play, assists).

    The argument that he is world class because he is one of the best left winger of his era also seems shallow when you consider that the more established league - Serie A didn't play much wingers.

    We were fortunate to have Giggs, but he was just as fortunate to have been part of our most successful era. Superb player, but never truly world class for a reasonable period for me.
  18. Sep 14, 2017

    Jim Beam Full Member

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    Fully agree on that. My initial reaction was about why is he even in this thread.


    My view is that his career is probably underrated as a player and by many United fans. He was brilliant as a winger, full of pace, direct and always a goal threat. His transformation to central midfield in his later years went as he was playing in that position the whole career which is a proof of his intelligence as a player while remaining an integral part of a team which won pretty much everything. While his peak can be up to some debate, his longevity, and ability to play on such a superb and high level can be seen as almost unique considering he was able to do it while playing two different positions.

    As for Ballon d'Or. Many players who were undoubtedly world class at their time have never got close to winning it. Javier Zanetti, Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Viera, Fernando Redondo, Paul Scholes, Francesco Totti, Luka Modric, the list goes on. Now with every mentioned player, there is no doubt about their greatness while there is with Giggs in some eyes. Even if you take Ballon d'Or as some kind of measurement, Giggs has an advantage over mentioned players as he was able to get on the list more times than any of them which is 5 (don't know where you have the information about his 2 times) and his highest ranking was 9th.
    Javier Zanetti and Paul Scholes never got to the list, Modric and Redondo only once. Patrick Viera as one of the best EPL midfielders only twice. Out of all these, only Totti manage to beat Giggs 9th place as he finished 5th in the early 2000's. All of these players had much stronger international careers which are a big factor when it comes to voting. Ballon d'Or is not a great argument when you see that it obviously prefers attackers and pure goalscorers. But still, the fact that Giggs has managed to get on the list so many times during the period of 15 years is at least recognition how well he was regarded as a player and for how long.

    Scholes never won Matt Busby player of the year and has never been PFA player of the year and there is no argument about him being one of the best midfielders during his career.

    Of course, he was fortunate to be part of our most successful era, so were Keane, Scholes, and Beckham. But you can't ignore the fact that he was able to do it for so long and for the same club. This factor is exactly why Javier Zanetti and Francesco Totti don't have any question marks about their legacy among Inter, Roma or any football fans. So why there are some over Giggs? Can't find a better explanation than the one that his off field behavior tarnished his legacy a bit.
  19. Sep 14, 2017

    SER19 Full Member

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    Despite our different view points it's been an enjoyable back and forth. I still feel that these posts are an example of why we're in disagreement, there's a whole lot of stipulations and qualifiers including ones that many would argue have little bearing on a players quality. Lots of very vague standards being set. These points don't even include the lessening of assists from set pieces which you expressed earlier.

    Your explanations for discounting the 95/96 season and 97:98 season (when he was player of the year at united) are a bit bizarre too.

    Also I don't think anybody has considered him "unsung" unless I missed a post.

    As a thread I think the level of discussion and amount occupied by off the pitch issues justifies the title.

    All in all I'd recommend selecting a few games from the years I've mentioned and watch them over a few weeks, full games if you have the time. I'd be surprised if your opinion wasn't swayed, but that's your opinion.

    Bringing David ginola in here though, never forgive you for that :wenger: :smirk:
  20. Sep 14, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    As you rightly pointed out, attacking players tend to have an advantage in Ballon D'or rankings. So it is easy to understand why players like Veira, Redondo, Zanetti or Modric never got close to having a high ranking.

    Of the list, Totti is the only who is a true attacking player like Giggs. However, he has been ranked higher 5th, and won many Serie A player of the year awards and was undoubtedly the team's best player when unfancied Roma won the league.

    Scholes, well I think he is a great great player, but truth is I also think red-tinted lenses see him as a much greater player than he really was. But this is another debate.

    Ballon D'or has some biase on playing positions, whether the league or team is well-known etc. I do not see why Ryan Giggs playing for Man Utd should suffer any biase, except for his Nationality (it didn't hinder Bale or Best). Of course, Ballon D'or is not the only criteria.

    It's hard to argue Totti was the best Roma player, in his time. Giggs was never this player.
  21. Sep 14, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    I enjoyed talking about Giggs, as he was such a big part of my growing up.

    Maybe I should go back and watch a few games! (Maybe highlights)

    Don't think reducing set-pieces from assist for comparison is bizarre at all, as set-pieces like penalty can distort a comparison. I recommend you do that as well.

    I used "unsung" as there were some earlier suggestions Giggs didn't get the individual accolades because he was just a team player, doing his thing.

    I have some questions, 1) would you still consider a young Giggs world class (top 3 in his position) in this era? Say the past decade.

    2) who would you consider the closest thing to Giggs today?
  22. Sep 14, 2017

    Rusholme Ruffian Full Member

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    Undoubtedly yes! A young Giggs would be the best out-and-out left winger in the world if he was around today.
  23. Sep 14, 2017

    Jim Beam Full Member

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    To be honest, I'm not sure whether you're trolling me or not with Ginola, Giggs only being 2 times on that Ballon d'Or list which is not correct, Scholes now... You're the one who used Ballon d'Or as an argument why he was never world-class. I had just given you a list of players from different positions who were undoubtedly world-class but never had a simillar record to him. He was not just attacking minded, nor he was a pure goalscorer and he was on that list both as a winger and as a midfielder. If you want another winger from that era, you can have Marc Overmars.

    For that last argument about Giggs never been our best player, looking at our squad I would without much hesitation pick Giggs (1995/96 - 1998/99) above everyone else.
  24. Sep 14, 2017

    SER19 Full Member

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    The final point here indicates a bit of hypocrisy and double standard from mr cantona also.
    Good questions.

    1) hand on heart, absolutely. What I mean about watching older games is that as giggs got older and his game changed a little he almost became a different player. Watch older games, everybody was absolutely dying to get him on the ball and whenever he was the place was electric. I remember watching in pubs and as soon as giggs got it At speed everybody was glued to the screen. We haven't had a player like giggs in a long time, apart from Ronaldo (not to compare them as players but in terms of sheer ability to get fans up)

    2) it's an easy comparison given nationality but bale at his best is similar in terms of sheer pace and directness. I'm a bale fan and his seasons at Tottenham were exceptional, but I think giggs still had an extra level to his game and unpredictability. His peak dribbling more similar to robben in that it changed direction a lot, whereas bale (to no discredit) is all about pace. I'd love to see more players like giggs at his best, I think many talented wingers lack the overall game giggs had and so play at lower teams than the very top tier.

    I'll return a question: would you consider Keane, beckham and Yorke world class during the treble season? And if so, aknowdlege none of them could be said to be the "star" of the team, yet were still world class. Giggs had that influence many many seasons at united. And add in say robben to that 99 team, his role would have been similar, and he would not have outshined any player at any year under ferguson
  25. Sep 14, 2017

    Kinsella New Member

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    David Ginola better than Ryan Giggs?

    Feck off!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  26. Sep 14, 2017

    Thisistheone Full Member

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    Good post mate.
  27. Sep 14, 2017

    Thisistheone Full Member

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    As you seem to be into your stats, check out this thread http://www.redcafe.net/threads/manchester-united-goals-and-assists-1987-88-today.396084/ for Giggs season by season impact. And notice the totals:

    Giggs goals: 168
    Giggs assists: 310

    So Giggs was directly involved in 478 goals. Non-directly who knows? His pace and width would stretch teams to their limit and make space for the likes of Cantona to thrive. His tracking back was also on another level to the likes of Ginola.

    So for a rough average 478/23 - he directly contributed towards 20.7 goals every season, for 23 years. His best season was 35 goals & assists.

    We'll see another Ginola come and go every few seasons. We'll never see another Giggs.
  28. Sep 14, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    If you think a difference of opinion is trolling you, then well I am. Let me be clear, I use Ballon D'or as an argument, taking into account the context and other factors.

    Giggs only got ranked on the Ballon D'or 2 times (once 9th and once 14th, by then far off his peak) as far as I know, I'm not talking about making the shortlist.

    Giggs is undoubtedly an attacking player in his time as left winger -> that was the front 4 of that era. What I mean was, a truly world class attacker, playing for Man Utd should not have difficulty getting higher on the list if he had great seasons.

    The examples you gave me: Zanetti, Viera, Seedorf (mostly) were not attacking players, and it is understandable they are over-looked.

    For Totti, he was ranked 5th.

    I rate Overmars, and unfortunately the highest he ever got was ranked 8th. I may be wrong but I don't think he has as high a legacy as Giggs, which is my point.
  29. Sep 15, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    I think Giggs is more talented, but Bale had a higher peak as player, around the 2012-2014 period season. His output in 2012/2013 was more than any Giggs season. He was also best player in the league, winning PFA player of the year twice, before his transfer to a very strong Real Madrid. On top of that, he was a key player in helping Wales to a strong European cup, which is what Giggs didn't do. To say Giggs was on another level is a little deluded, unless we are talking about longevity.

    Keane, yes. He was player of the year two years in a role during Man Utd most successful years, as well as the best player for Ireland when punched above their weight.

    Beckham, yes. He was player of the year in 1996-1997, voted runner-up for Ballon D'or around that period, and was best player for England when they had a good run in 2002 World Cup. On top of that, he transferred to Real Madrid, where he proved successful for a period, earning Player of the Season. His assists and goal outputs were also stronger than Giggs during his Manchester United career.

    Yorke, in my view has a strong case for just one season. He was PFA player of the season and league top scorer in 1998-1999. In that season, he may have been top 3-5 strikers in the world, but his peak was too short in any case.

    A peak Robben would have been a star attacking force on that 1999 team.
  30. Sep 15, 2017

    Rusholme Ruffian Full Member

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    You seem to be under the impression that winning some kind of player of the year award is irrefutable proof that that player was the best in the league during that year.
  31. Sep 15, 2017

    beep New Member

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    That goal in goal in 1997/98 v Juve was brilliant. The game was instrumental in the belief of that United squad that they could compete with the very best in Europe. We only won 3-2 that night, but we beat Juve up a stick.
  32. Sep 15, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    So let me get this right:

    Giggs was not really recognized by his league peers in the league during his prime - no PFA player of the year

    Giggs was not really recognized by global Football coaches, Captains and Journalists despite playing for a famous club (most famous according to us) - best ranking was 9th when he was a teenager

    Giggs was not really recognized internally by fans or fellow players during the year - only 1 Matt Busby award in 23 years

    Giggs did not have exceptional output during any season (good and consistent but not exceptional) - His best was 35 goals+assists for all comps, which to me does not exceptional. Goal scoring especially was weak. Now, within the team, Beckham had similar outputs, but had also the evidence of some international success to cement his world-class claims and some minor success with other teams. Even then, I also do not think he gets the same status as Ryan Giggs amongst fans.

    Giggs did not achieve international team success by any measure

    Giggs did not transfer for any record fees or shined for another team (hypothetically he could have, but who knows?) -

    I used transfer fee as another poster mentioned a low transfer fee is an indication of not a great player (Ginola)

    By itself, shining for more than 1 team is not a criteria for greatness, but a weak point when discussing a player greatness. Can he cut it on another team or is he a system player , or surrounded by greatness? Xavi, Messi regularly has such arguments against them for example, but they at least also shined for their national team.

    But because some fans on forum say he was legendary world class a decade or 2 later, we should say he was?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  33. Sep 15, 2017

    Rusholme Ruffian Full Member

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    What is your purpose here? I can't imagine being a United fan and spending days attempting to prove that one of our biggest legends was actually a bit, well, mediocre?

    I don't give a monkeys about anything other than my own eyes and brain - and having watched Ryan Giggs through the entirety of his career I can say that he was a great player, and if a young Giggs was around today he would be the best out-and-out left winger in the world. Nothing else really matters. The fact that you're bringing in stuff like the fact that 'he didn't transfer for any record fees or shined (sic) for another team' as means of attempting to bolster your argument shows just how flawed it is.
  34. Sep 15, 2017

    Oooh_aaah_cantona New Member

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    We all know what our eyes and brains saw, especially fans who watched through that era, and it is not my aim (nor is it possible) to change your mind about those beautiful memories.

    But memories, matches that you missed, can play tricks on us, nostalgia, things like that, especially after a long time.

    My purpose, here is to have an objective discussion of how great he really was, how does he compare against players past and present, see if I can learn things that I may have missed about what made him great.

    What about you dear sir?
  35. Sep 15, 2017

    Rusholme Ruffian Full Member

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    But you don't want to take any other opinion on board! When anyone offers an opposing opinion you bring up a massive long list of reasons why he couldn't possibly be as good as people think - a list which includes such gems as 'Giggs did not achieve international team success by any measure' and 'Giggs did not transfer for any record fees or shined for another team'. Another poster even provided a truly amazing stat: Giggs directly contributed towards 20.7 goals every season, for 23 years, and you respond with: 'Beckham was involved in more goals per season in his time at Man Utd'.

    You have decided, for whatever reason, that Giggs is overrated and not actually as great as everyone says. That's fine, but if you are genuinely not attempting to change other people's minds then I'll ask again, what is your purpose?
  36. Sep 15, 2017

    Jim Beam Full Member

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    It's not understandable that these players are overlooked as many defensive minded midfielders, defenders, and even goalkeepers constantly make the list throughout the years so your point doesn't stand. Goalscorers have the advantage when it comes to winning it or making top 3. Giggs made the list 3 times only in 90's and even later as a midfielder with I don't know how many more nominations during his career. He also had more defensive responsibilities than today's wingers and more than Totti ever had. So on that part, he was more than recognized, much more than some other world-class players.

    But as others pointed out, and same with Scholes, I don't need to look at the awards to see he was one of the best at his position while he was on the wing and that he was an integral part of the squad and great player even later in the midfield. His football career was extraordinary in that sense.


    Feck, this is one thing I will never forget him. Btw, I can't even imagine how much he would worth as a winger in today's market.

    One last thing, out of interest. Which wingers would you choose in the 90's over Giggs?


    .
  37. Sep 15, 2017

    Jim Beam Full Member

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    You can then look past this forum.

    “If he was French, Pires or myself would have been on the bench.” — Zinedine Zidane

    “Ryan Giggs is fast, skillful and sharp. With Luis Figo, he is the most fantastic winger I have ever seen in my life.” — Marc Overmars

    "If I had to choose a player from United, I prefer Ryan Giggs myself." — Luis Figo

    “Ryan Giggs for me is one of the best players in the world, and now he is old but he continues to play well and he was a fantastic player.” — Roberto Mancini

    “Giggs is the detonator, the man who can make Manchester United explode.” — Jean Tigana

    “I have come up against some tough wingers but the toughest of them all was Ryan Giggs. It was easy to read what other wingers would do but for Giggs, it was tough. He is very intelligent, takes you to the side, cuts inside, beating you – amazing player.” — Lauren

    “Any manager in the world would want Giggs in their side.” — Dunga

    “His record is absolutely unbelievable. Not only longevity-wise, but the amount of things he’s won, the amount of brilliant games, the amount of goals he’s scored and created. He’s just a brilliant professional and he’s defying Father Time to play how he does at the very top level in club football.” — Gary Lineker
  38. Sep 15, 2017

    youngrell New Member

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    I don't put much weight behind Team of the Year appearances etc – David Seaman and Nigel Martyn both featured more times than Peter Schmeichel for just one example of how these teams fail to give a clear picture of who the best players are/were.
  39. Sep 15, 2017

    Thisistheone Full Member

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    True, Beckham's average was 21.5. He was also world class imo. Although Giggs was the better player for me & was producing at the highest level before Beckham came into the team and after, while Beckham was playing in America and had retired.



    Individual
  40. Sep 15, 2017

    Bobski New Member

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    It has been an interesting discussion but how many people are truly willing to change their mind? All parties are probably more entrenched in their viewpoints than when it started. The joy of debate.

    Giggs is my favourite player ever. Can I honestly say I give critique of him fair consideration? To a point, but we all have players who we have a loyalty to. For a lot of guys my age Cantona is that figure, personally I think his standing is a little high given the era in which his best years came in. A great player but towards the 9th-12th range if I was ranking Utd players all time.

    Longevity is an interesting part of this debate. What really has greater value, to be an 8/10 for 10 years or a 9/10 for 4 and then a steady decline? Bale would be an example of that second trajectory, looks as if he is dropping quickly at this point after some spectacular years. Can he adapt his game to his physical decline and accept a different, perhaps lesser role? Fascinated to see how his career progresses over the next few years, if he can get over these injuries he is still an excellent player, probably needs to leave Madrid to reviltalize his career. What age was Robben when he left? 26? Got over his injuries and his career peaked later, the changing fashions of the game perfectly suited his game, instead of playing as a true winger he could be a wide forward and focus on scoring, perfect for him.

    Bit of a ramble. Long week.